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Essex Field Club
Essex Field Club
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Essex Field Club

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EFC Centre at Wat Tyler Country ParkWe are closed due to the Covid-19 situation, but we are otherwise normally open to the public at our centre at Wat Tyler Country Park every Saturday, Sunday and bank holiday 11am-4pm, check. We are also normally open on Wednesdays 10am-4pm.

Geology Site Account

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Gallions Reach (temporary excavation), BECKTON, London Borough of Newham, TQ444814, Historical site only

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Site category: London Clay, Claygate or Bagshot Beds

Temporary exposure of fossiliferous deposits. Further excavations in the vicinity could yield further fossils.


Site description

Excavations for No. 9 gas holder at Beckton Gas Works in 1890 yielded a number of fossils. Beneath about 8 metres (25 feet) of clay peat and gravel, which was formed in the last 10,000 years, the excavation encountered bedrock consisting of a 30 centimetre (one foot) thick layer of hard sandstone that, in places, was full of fossil shells. Probably belonging to the Oldhaven Beds (now part of the Harwich Formation), this sandstone is about 55 million years old and is found at the base of the London Clay in East London and south Essex. There is a record that twelve separate species of shellfish were identified in this layer at the time of the excavation. Below this, down to the floor of the gas holder, were layers of silt, sand and shelly clay from the underlying Woolwich Formation.


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Reference: Woodward 1922 (p.28)

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